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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

HUMANISTIC EDUCATION                 179

conception of life in ways with which he had no sympathy, but
which were yet as truly an outcome of the spirit of the times as
his own.

The advance towards the wider humanism that was implicit
in the views of Erasmus was made in the next generation by
Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540). Born in Valencia in 1492, he
was in his youth an enthusiastic adherent of scholasticism.
But in the course of three years' study in Paris, he was converted
to humanism by the writings of Erasmus, and the change of mind
was confirmed when he settled in Louvain and made the ac-
quaintance of the great scholar in person. His interest in
educational work dates from the years 1523-1528, part of which
he spent in England under the patronage of Catherine of Aragon.
For his pupil, Princess Mary, he wrote treatises On the Right
Method of Instruction for Girls (De Ratione Studii puerilis}, and
On the Education of a Christian Woman, the first and most notable
of a number of works on female education which appeared in the
Sixteenth Century. Dismissed from the Court because of his
sympathy with Catherine in the divorce proceedings, he withdrew
to Bruges, where, in spite of poverty and hardships, he composed
three educational works, comprehended under the title On the
Subjects of Study (De Disciplinis) (1531). His later writings
included a volume of Colloquies for beginners in Latin and a
treatise on psychology, De Anima et Vita, which ranks as the first
modern work on the subject.

In general attitude his treatment of educational questions
is similar to that of Erasmus. The first of the three books On the
Subjects of Study, dealing with " the cause of the corruption of the
arts," is a critical review of the subjects and methods of medieval
learning, in which the shortcomings of the schoolmen are exposed
and condemned. As against their verbal subtleties, he advocates
the study of literature. His antagonism to scholasticism, however,
goes deeper than that of Erasmus. For him the fundamental
defect of the scholastic studies and of the Aristotelian logic on
which they were based is the presupposition of universal ideas.
In this, he maintains, is to be found the real cause of the corruption
of learning; and the only cure for it is to begin with the individual
facts of experience and out of them to come to ideas by the
natural logic of the mind. The true method of learning, in short,
is not deduction, but induction. The second of the books On